Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizya willingly while they are humbled. [ S.I Qur’an 9:29 ]

Be used to justify an Islamic State in presenting the Ultimatum of:

1.) Convert

2.) Pay jizya

3.) War

To neighbouring groups of peaceful, non aggressive jews and Christians?

I’ve read a translation of Ibn Kathir’s explanation of the first part of the verse regarding fighting the people of scripture:

(Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the People of the Scripture,) This honorable Ayah was revealed with the order to fight the People of the Book, after the pagans were defeated, the people entered Allah's religion in large numbers, and the Arabian Peninsula was secured under the Muslims' control. Allah commanded His Messenger to fight the People of the Scriptures, Jews and Christians, on the ninth year of Hijrah, and he prepared his army to fight the Romans and called the people to Jihad announcing his intent and destination. The Messenger sent his intent to various Arab areas around Al-Madinah to gather forces, and he collected an army of thirty thousand. Some people from Al-Madinah and some hypocrites, in and around it, lagged behind, for that year was a year of drought and intense heat. The Messenger of Allah marched, heading towards Ash-Sham to fight the Romans until he reached Tabuk, where he set camp for about twenty days next to its water resources. He then prayed to Allah for a decision and went back to Al-Madinah because it was a hard year and the people were weak, as we will mention, Allah willing.[ Excerpt from a Translation of the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir of 9:29 ]

But it is not mentioned if the people of scripture are to be fought until they pay the jizya in self defense or in an aggressive way,. Sorry if this question appears too often.

  • 1
    I think that the verse is pretty self explanatory. It literally says "Fight those who do not believe in Allah ... " and it does not say "Fight those who attack you". Both aggressive and defensive jihad is ordained in Islam, the answer to your previous question already covers this as well as other answers under the tag
    – UmH
    Jul 21, 2021 at 13:35
  • @UmH then how do we reconcile offensive jihaad (for the sake of disbelief) with the Quran 2:190 ( ...Begin not Hostilities) ?
    – Hisham
    Jul 22, 2021 at 16:27
  • 2
    Refer to the tafsir of 2:190. If you search on this site I have written an answer on that.
    – UmH
    Jul 22, 2021 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


The tafsīr of in Kathīr is is well renowned and his version putting it into the historical context has hardly been challenged. A proof or a counter-proof is difficult to make from our time.

However, two valid arguments against this interpretation have been brought forth:

  1. It would not make sense that God commands to wage war against the Byzantine empire as God must have known that the battle would not take place.

  2. The literal translation of the text is:

Kill those who do not believe in God and not in the last day and don't forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden and not acknowledge the religion of truth from those who were given the book until they pay the jizya willingly while they are subdued.

a) It doesn't say to wage a war but it speaks about persons already subdued

b) The consecutive row of "and" would in its default meaning describe a complete disbeliever (fulfilling all conditions).The second possible meaning that it describes not [all a believer is supposed to] is also possible and more probable in the context.

  • Sir so please give the verdict, can 9:29 be used to Justify an Islamic state approaching a group of peaceful jew/christians and imposing on them the ultimatum 1.)Convert2.)Jizya3.)War ?
    – Hisham
    Jul 21, 2021 at 20:22
  • @diabu my «verdict» would be Convert: NO, Jizya: YES (2nd option in 2b), War: NO
    – Jeschu
    Jul 22, 2021 at 7:34
  • 2
    . I asked if the ultimatum of the 3 choices itself can be imposed against a group of peaceful jews and christians, i am not sure what u mean by this No Yes No
    – Hisham
    Jul 22, 2021 at 13:19
  • @diabu it refers to what you have asked above. Conversion is encouraged but it cannot not be imposed, Jews and Christians under Islam leadership who do not want to convert have to pay jizya and may be killed if they refuse to do so. The verse does not legitimate war against a Christian state.
    – Jeschu
    Jul 22, 2021 at 14:16
  • So can an Islamic state confront a peaceful, independent christian state and Impose on them the options of 1.) Convert to Islam, 2.) Pay the Jizya 3.) War according to 9:29?
    – Hisham
    Jul 22, 2021 at 16:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .